I visited home last December, after 4-5 months of being away when this happened. (I’m studying and working ~2000 kms away from home). My cousin had just got married, last one of my first cousins who is older than me. So in everybody’s mind, I was “next”.
To give a little background, my parents were talking about my wedding since I was born probably. I remember hearing about related stuff since as far as I can remember. Don’t jump to any conclusions though, my parents are pretty cool and I’ve enjoyed more freedom than most of my friends (girls at least). I was always encouraged in pursuing whatever I wanted to and all they asked ever, was for me to get married when they thought it’s time.
So after I turned 22 and moved away from home, my parents gave me an ultimatum : You have to get married in a year or two, maximum. And these things take time, so we have to start looking soon.
I on the other hand was looking forward to moving in a new city, away from everyone I knew and start a different life. I told them yes, I’m fine with it but please let’s revisit this topic in a few months. Let me get settled and after a year you can start looking. The topic took a backseat, but never did it completely went out of the picture. Time and again my mom or my dad reminded me how they think it’s time.
I was irritated to the core by all this talk of wedding. Ugghh. Specially because my life otherwise was so much fun. New friends, new experiences. I visited a beach for the first time. And then many more after that. I was studying interesting stuff, working hard and loving the interactions and the new friends I had made in just a few months. The weekend trips, late night discussions, staying up all night to debug code, I was having one of the best time of my life. It was just like I dreamt it would be. Though I was never a dependent person, it was for the first time that I was tasting true independence!
I started making plans, of how I’ll explain to my parents that this wedding thing is not happening anytime soon. How I’m just not ready. And in the meantime, I started spending more and more time with one friend in particular. It started out as innocently as possible.
He was my super cute senior, hard working and passionate, and fun to be with. And I had a crush on him! Even after meeting daily, hanging out with friends, we used to find excuses to hang out with each other alone. We talked about everything, our past, present and future. And somewhere down the line, we stopped hiding from out friends too. We were together, and it was growing to be more than a casual relationship. His family situation was similar to mine, in the sense that his parents too wanted him to get married as badly as mine did. He is two years older than me. And just like that we started discussing what it would be like. I don’t even remember how and when it all started, not a romantic movie kind proposal, but he asked. And then we started discussing about when and how should we disclose this to our parents.
His idea of course. I did not want to tell my parents. Because telling them meant it’s done. The ball will be in their court. And I expected I will be getting phone calls on a daily basis and there will be thousands of questions. And then my parents would hurry and would want us to get married as soon as possible, as they don’t like the “relationship” period. None of the Indian parents do.
He told his parents though, after much protest from my side. Said they were asking him and he couldn’t lie to their face and hide anymore. Such a good boy, no! And then his parents wanted to talk to mine, well duh! He told them I haven’t told my parents yet and that I don’t want to do it over the phone. So the next time I visit, I’ll tell. And things were quiet again.
And so I visited home, some 3-4 months after this incident. My third day at home and my parents were already telling me, your one year asking period is over and we have to start looking now… We will start looking now!
My cousin who got married recently came over for dinner with his wife. And after they left, my mum, dad and I were cleaning up. The 3 of us were talking, while doing the dishes. One person scrubbing, handing over the dish to the other who would then wash it with hot soapy water, hand it over to the third one who would rinse it with tap water and place it on the shelf to let it dry.
My parents took up the topic again. So what about you, they asked. What kinda guy are you looking for? My heart beat rising, as I had talked to my boyfriend (eeuw I hate calling him that) earlier in the day and he reminded me that I have to do it, I have to tell them. Parents continued with their fav topic. Dad asked slowly if there’s anyone you like.. unsure of himself. You can tell us he added. Mom nodded. And I blurted his name out in a whisper.
They both went.. what?! My heart racing like it’s about to come out, and I find the courage to say his name again, this time more clearly and a little bit louder. I told them I like him. He likes me too. And he asked me to ask you what do you think about this. I mean I am asking you, what do you think about this. Silence. It felt like forever.
Mom asked since when is this going on? I answered almost 6 months. I don’t know why I added, it’s not that serious mom. I mean it is but, I’m not implying that this is it. I just want you to consider this. They obviously dint buy it. And the next one week was probably the most awkward time I had spent at home. More silence followed everywhere I went. Mom dad used to talk slowly with each other and when I entered the room, they would abruptly stop.
They asked me his surname, well there you go I thought! We belong to different caste. I told them and added please dad, caste is not important. Meet him and his family and then decide. I thought about how all my cousins have had an arranged marriage, except one brother. So I was going to be the first girl as far as I knew. And that too different caste. It wasn’t going to be easy. Sigh.
I found excuses to get out of home, to meet friends, who knew nothing of what was going on at home by the way. Anyway, the week passed somehow and I was happy to return back. Even though I had no answer from my parents.
No confirmation, but no rejection either. I was only told to concentrate on my work and studies and that they’ll let me know.